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Speed limits and enforcement

Introducing a speed limit

We have to consider:

  • the suitability of the limit and the set up of the road

  • historical road safety issues and accident data, areas with recorded incidents will be prioritised

  • the cost of introducing a new speed limit

  • an inappropriate limit will tend to be disregarded by drivers, so careful consideration must be made to set the right limit for a particular stretch of road
  • the location, we would not introduce a speed limit for single entities, such as at a junction, a sharp bend or on a steep hill

Read more in the council's speed limit policy and national guidance on speed limits

Enforcement of speed limits

Dorset Police (Dorset Road Safe) are responsible for enforcing speed limits. Reports of excessive speed should be referred for investigation.

30mph limits in residential areas

On a road with street lighting installed to standards set out in the Road Traffic Regulations Act, the default limit is 30mph (unless otherwise signed).

Where the speed limit is 30mph, repeater signs cannot be used as it invalidates the limit for enforcement purposes. 30mph repeaters signs are only installed where there is no street lighting.

20mph limits in residential areas

We do not consider introducing 20mph speed limits except in areas where there are recorded collisions. The limit would also need to be backed by the presence of physical traffic calming to keep speeds down.

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